News of transition in downtown's dining scene: Anotherthyme, a fixture of the Brightleaf Square district downtown for almost three decades, closed its doors last night after a long history of one of Durham's best-regarded restaurants.
Ten years before Magnolia Grill opened its doors, and two decades before Four Square arrived, and long before anyone thought Durham was the foodiest anything, anywhere, Mary Bacon's Anotherthyme was one of the first restaurants to really make an imprint on Durham's dining scene.
From the history section of their web site:
In 1982, Durham and the rest of us was coming of age. Mary started Anotherthyme in a quaint older building near the downtown area of the city. What was to become a bustling retail center at Brightleaf Square had only recently been transformed from empty and decaying tobacco warehouses. At last, downtown Durham was casting off its rags as the ugly stepsister of the Triangle. It was on its way to becoming the bustling center of community and cultural events that all vital cities must be to thrive. Anotherthyme not only thrived and developed with the Triangle, but was an integral part of the success of the area.
With a philosophy of food that is based on rethinking seafood and vegetarian dishes as not being secondary to the meat and potatoes thing, Mary has spent years developing foods that are full of flavor and visual appeal without being dependent on a kitchen full of beef and chicken stock, heavy cream sauces or animal fats. As sensible as this may seem today, in 1972, when people dined in a good restaurant, it generally meant steak or fried seafood--remember, those were the days of "Surf & Turf."
Bacon answered the phone at Anotherthyme on Thursday night and confirmed the closure of the restaurant. The building had been sold, she said, telling BCR that the site would reopen as a restaurant in the near future.
According to deed records online, the building was sold (today) to one Fenwick Properties LLC. The registered agent who formed the LLC -- registered just two weeks ago -- is one Mike Sholtz, who appears to be an '88 grad of Duke Law and of counsel to the university.
If the name Sholtz sounds familiar, it may be because one Jason Sholtz is the co-owner of James Joyce... and one Alivia Sholtz is the reputed namesake of Anotherthyme's southern neighbor of the same name. BCR doesn't know if there's a relationship, but it'd be a heck of a coincidence, now-dontcha-think? Update: Jason and Alivia are both children of Mike Sholtz, a reader helpful writes in to say.
(H/T to Eat at Joe's for the tip.)